Triathlon training and in-season tri travel is a tricky partnership. Not only are performance gains hard to attain with stretch cords and a ho-tel fitness center, but the anxiety of impatient travel, altered food schedules, and/or unfamiliar surroundings can make the typical Type A personality feel completely out of sync.
Fortunately, a few specifically targeted strength moves while on the road are the perfect swim/bike/run complement to help honey speed, strength, and coordination. These moves are designed to help you feel mobile, faster, and more connected through basic agility, light plyomet-ric, and power-based activation—all with minimal equipment. With the help of a stretch band, here are five travel-ready favorites to help you bridge the gap between home and away.
Banded Dead Bugs
Why: Improves efficiency, strength, and stability of your hips, core, and spine as move-ment transfers between your upper and lower body.
How: Lie on a mat with your arms extended straight above your chest so they form a perpendicular angle with your torso. Bend your knees 90 degrees, placing a light band around each forefoot. Keeping your left leg exactly where it is, slowly reach your arms backward, over your head, and toward the floor as you simultaneously extend your right knee and hip—reaching your right heel toward the floor. Your left foot and hip must resist the pull of the band. Move slowly and avoid any twisting or movement of your hips or torso. Stop the movement just before your arms and leg touch the ground. Reverse back to starting position and switch legs. Do 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps.
Lateral Band Plank Walk
Why: Your upper back and core are integral parts of your swim, bike, and run posture. This movement strengthens your hips and core all the way through your shoulders.
How: Place a light stretch band around the base of your hands. Begin in a hand plank position with an engaged core and a neutral head and spine. Without twisting at the hips or shoulders, laterally move your right hand 2-4 inches away from your midline and back before switching sides. Movements should be slow and controlled. Do 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps/side.
Single-Legged Stand from Bench
Why: This is a best-value movement for strengthening leg, hip, posture, and core musculature for the bike and run, preventing injury and promoting late-race resilience.
How: Place a box or chair behind you. Stand on one leg with your foot pointing straight ahead with the knee of the other leg slightly bent. Perform the one-leg squat by hinging your hips back until touching the box. Tighten your core to keep your hips square as you engage your glute to return to standing. Do 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps/side.
Why: Maintaining hip control is critical for long-term injury prevention. This is an an-ti-rotation movement designed to specifically strengthen your hips, core, and posture.
How: Begin by kneeling on one leg. Create ten-sion in the glute of your kneeling leg and the quad of the raised knee to stabilize your hips while engaging your core. With great posture, extend your left arm completely without twist-ing your shoulders, grasping the stretch band in your left hand. Grab the opposite side of the band with your right hand and row backwards against increasing tension. Perform 12-15 reps before switching legs/arms for 2-3 sets.
Single-Leg Plyo Deadlift
Why: Contraction, stabilization, and coordi-nation are all vital training components for a highly responsive posterior chain and central nervous system. This deadlift variation works them all.
How: Stand on your left leg with your knee slightly bent. Hinge forward at the hips, allow-ing your right leg to float behind you much like a drinking bird or “Warrior III” pose until your chest is parallel to the ground. With an exhale, swing your left arm forward driving your chest upwards while exploding off the ground with your left foot. Your right knee should drive upwards toward your chest as you return to a fully vertical position. Repeat for 6-8 explosive reps on each leg across 2-3 sets.